Friday, October 8, 2010

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Offers Support For Abused Boys

from ONN, September 30, 2010

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is hoping to reach out to victims of sexual abuse while they are teens.

A man, who did not want to be identified, on Thursday said that he was sexually abused between the ages of eight and 13. He never told anyone until he was in his 40s.

"I didn't tell anyone because I didn't know how to, and I didn't know that I could safely do that," he said.

The man started attending a group session for adults that were abused as children at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center last year, ONN's Cristin Severance reported.

"It's important for us to look at male victimization, because no one else is doing it," said Alex Leslie a prevention specialist at the center. "We know that they are out there."

The center said that one out of every six boys is sexually abused in some way before they are 18. The center believes that only about 10 percent of victims report it.

"For all the young men, young and old, the stigma of appearing weak or less of a man is pretty powerful," Leslie said.

Leslie said that a teenage abuse victim contacted them about sharing his feelings in a group which is a rare move for someone his age.

That call spurred them to start a weekly group session with male survivors of abuse between 13 and 17-years-old.

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center already offers one-on-one counseling for teenage boys. They plan on continuing those individual services as well as the group sessions.

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